By Chuck Hughes
Former Harvard Admissions Officer
I recently read a Wall Street Journal article that discussed an analysis of 30,000 college graduates that explored the correlation between college selectivity and future job satisfaction or well-being. The students, in fact, showed little to no correlation in that area, and one of the key points to the article was to provide us with a reminder that our team has been sharing with parents for years: attend a college that will inspire you, allow you to develop mentoring relationships with faculty and advisors, engage you in the classroom, provide practical real world experience through research or internships, and allow you to grow into an independent adult ready to make a contribution to society.
The WSJ article highlights six areas that can help students thrive in college:
• Take a course with a professor who makes learning exciting
• Work with professors who care about students personally
• Find a mentor who encourages students to pursue personal goals
• Work on a project across several semesters
• Participate in an internship that applies classroom learning
• Be active in extracurricular activities
When I think about my Harvard experience, I'd make the case that I found myself active in at least four of these areas, and maybe this is why I found my time so wonderful and life changing. I lived with 9 diverse and interesting people from across the country. I participated in a varsity sport at a nationally competitive level. I developed relationships with 2 faculty members and received great mentorship from several people who worked at the university. I pursued a teaching certificate beyond my psychology major over two years, which brought me to a 12-week full day teaching practicum at a Coalition of Essential Schools high school an hour from Cambridge, and I thrived as a person with all I explored beyond the classroom.
So, as we continue to discuss schools with our students, those are the questions we should be exploring as we try to differentiate the many incredible college options that await.
To read the article: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-right-way-to-choose-a-college...